MoCA: Situated in Renmim Park (aka People’s Park), the programming here can be hit and miss, but it’s worth seeing what’s on, if only to gauge the temperature of Shanghai’s art scene. Plus it’ll give you an excuse to meander around the park where you are likely to be amused by various people doing unusual things.
The average Shanghai apartment is on the small side so locals head to the parks to do tai chi, practise a loud brass musical instrument, work through a new ballroom dancing step, fly a kite or cast a rod into an ornamental water feature. On weekends parents with unmarried kids set up impromptu stalls where they advertise their offspring in a sort of marriage market.
After a dose of art and some good old-fashioned people watching in the park, take a coffee stop at Barbarossa. This cafe has lovely views onto ponds and landscaped greenery and an eclectic menu; light dishes we enjoyed here include the Hainanese chicken rice and the Moroccan-style orange cake (talk about East meets West!).
Note: the Shanghai Art Museum is free and also within the park’s confines, however, we struggle to really recommend it…but the gallery cafe Kathleen’s 5 does offer an amazing view over the city, brunch here is popular so if you would like to go, book ahead.
Chinese address for taxi: (人民公园